It’s pretty hard to believe that I’ve been doing the blogging thing for ten years now. I started my journal as an experiment in the summer of 2000 and have kept it going in one form or another since then. Not all the archives are uploaded — it’s an ongoing project that I work on when I have some extra time and a good Internet connection, both things that are lacking these days.
How My Life Has Changed Since Then: When I started blogging, I was a 20 year old college student living at home over the summer. I was dating this guy I’d met over the Internet and working at Barnes & Noble to pay for books and living expenses. Ten years later, I’m married to that guy (8 years now), living in southern California, have a 15 month old son, and have worked a variety of jobs. I’ve lived in 8 different places in 7 different cities/towns in 4 different states. Oh yeah… I also have 18-24 inches less hair than I did in 2000.
What Blogging Has Done for My Life: It’s been an *interesting* ten years and blogging has given me an outlet to express my thoughts/frustrations/reflections on everything in my life. In my last year of college, I was meeting Crystal, Krissy, and Eileen for the first time. In 2002, blogging kept me sane when we moved to Newark and I was pretty much stuck in the house all day. I made friends through blogs4God (at that time an Internet Christian blog portal) and became a moderator for them in 2003. When we moved to Minnesota and then to Montana, my blogging people became a portable community that I could take from place to place. In these 10 years, I’ve made some really great friends (some of whom I have been able to meet in person) and been able to be part of some amazing experiences in their lives such as rejoicing when someone was able to adopt their daughter from China and being with a friend (by phone and in spirit) at the death of her brother. When Daniel was born, I had an amazing support system in place to help me deal with my stress, grief, and joy and I had people who held my hand from afar when my grandfather passed away.
How My Faith Has Changed: When I started blogging in 2000, I was a neophyte Christian and trying to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12b) Ten years later, my faith and how I express it has really evolved. When I started blogging, I was attending an Episcopal church at home and a Conservative Baptist church at school. (Being Lutheran was a compromise between the two.) I know now that I am bi-ritual (i.e. I can worship in both liturgical and free-form settings) but that my ultimate preference is liturgy. The parts of the Bible that I thought I understood ten years ago mean something entirely to me now. I would say that I’m more conservative theologically now but I can express that conservatism in a more grace-filled way.
How the Internet Has Changed: I got into blogging relatively early and hand-coded my blog at first. In the intervening time, I’ve used: Livejournal, Greymatter, Moveable Type, and b2/Wordpress. b2/Wordpress has been what I’ve used the longest — 7 years combined with WordPress being about 5 years of that. The blogging thing seemed to catch on around 2003 and a lot of the blogs I used to follow have petered out since then. With the advent of Facebook and Twitter, blogging has gotten edged out and I admit that posting to Facebook has made me less likely to blog. On the other hand, blogging is also a way for me to get the junk out (in passworded entries).
What I’m Proud of Having Done: I think the posts I like best are mostly from 2003 and 2004 when I tended to be more reactive and take on more people. Probably my best post was a letter to Dr. Michael Newdow that was cross-posted to blogs4God and caused me to incur the ire of the people at Atheism @ About.Com. I also have some political posts from that time where I took on someone that annoyed me and explained why their point of view was completely and utterly wrong. If nothing else, those posts caused me to figure out a whole lot of diplomatic and polity issues.
What I Probably Shouldn’t Have Done: I probably could have been slightly less vitriolic about my utter dislike and disdain of our ex-president Bush. (Those who knew me back in 2003 are probably laughing hard enough to choke at that statement.)
What I Hope For the Next Ten Years: I hope that we’ll be more settled in a place where Jon has a call and that Daniel will be a happy and healthy 11 year old. I’m not against having more kids but if we do, I’m hoping for a daughter named Hannah Grace. As far as blogging, I hope that I’ll have two Obama administrations to blog through and that whoever follows him is somewhat competent. Peacefulwaters.Org is renewed for the next two years and Grace-Filled.Net will be renewed for at least another year in September. I have no idea what will happen in that time but God-willing, I’ll be blogging through it all.